Sunday, August 31, 2008

Dusty Baker's Legacy Of Greatness Rears It's Ugly Head

Have you ever heard of something called a "pitch count"? I bet you have if you have any idea about baseball. Well our old friend Dusty Baker never knew what it meant. Take a look at this gamelog of Zambrano's from 2004, but be ready to be pissed off when you look at how many pitches he threw. Why bring this up now? Well, according to the Sun-Times, Zambrano has a tight triceps and is going to be on a short leash for the next few starts. Here's why:
[T]he Cubs and Zambrano believe the right-hander has muscle fatigue in his triceps, and he has been going through lighter workouts to rebuild his arm strength.

''You can't compare him with a lot of people because I don't know anyone who has logged the innings he has in the last six or seven years,'' pitching coach Larry Rothschild said. ''We're trying to get the arm stretched out and strengthened. ... He knows he's not throwing the ball the way he wants to, and anyone would get frustrated. He's a big strong guy and expects a lot out of himself.''

No I don't know anyone else who has logged the innings he has either. Wait wait, I can think of two that were logging those minutes, and their careers have never been the same. (See: Mark Prior and Kerry Wood) Dusty Baker was the man who left these guys in forever, even when they were too young, too tired, or just overworked. I only hope they can get Z healthy again for the playoffs. We're going to need him.

Next Week: Why walks clog the bases starring Dusty Baker favorites Neifi Perez and Corey Patterson.

**UPDATE: Apparently big Z has been scratched from the start today. Marshall will make the start.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Attention Readers; Announcement For All 7 Of You

Quick note: I will not be doing Today's Links on weekend mornings due to the fact that nobody reads this shit on the weekends and also due to the fact that its a pain in the ass and I don't want my girlfriend to leave me. Anyways, they will be back Monday. In the meantime, I may throw a few links on here one at a time if something catches my eye or I'm bored or something. Here's a little Derrick Rose mix tape I found to keep you busy:

Illini-Mizzou Hype Machine

College Football has begun. Thanks to StevieY19 for the great previews. To be honest I don't really give a shit about college football or even Big Ten football most of the time. However, with the Illini's precipitous rise to the top last year I have become more interested. (Please clear this question up for me: Can precipitous be used when referring to a rise as opposed to a drop? StevieY19 and I have been arguing over this) As such, here are a few links to get you ready for tonight's huge Illini-Mizzou game:

ESPN-->Juice looks for redemption against Mizzou

Inside Illini-->Review '07 Illinois- Missouri: What Happened?

ChicagoSports.com-->No. 20 Illinois ready for Missouri test

Rivals.com-->This is the best analysis if you really want to get dirty with the matchups

Go Illini. Oh and a quick preview of Northwestern-Syracuse. Not much hype for the 'Cats this year, but they do have a decent offense, so who knows.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Barack OBalla Would Definitely Destroy Bush In One-on-One

Here's a little Friday video fun. G.W. taking a jump shot. Not bad. Not great either. He's a decider, not a baller.

Soriano Is Upset By Questions About His Fielding; Thousands Of North Siders Share His Sentiments

Soriano's fielding has reached (and surpassed) the point where it needs to be addressed. I know that the media has covered this ad nauseum in Chicago, but after last night's game where he let a single drop in front of him in a tight ballgame, I feel the need to address the issue. Well apparently so does Fonzy:


Soriano does take pride in his defense and doesn't want to be considered a liability. He has a strong arm but can't afford to look lackadaisical on routine plays."I feel very comfortable in left field," he said. "I just made a couple of mistakes, I know. But it's not like I don't feel comfortable."
Great, he feels comfortable. Well I don't feel comfortable, do you? Why not switch him out late in games as a defensive replacement? Well he doesn't think that's a good idea:


"I want to play nine innings," he said. "That's why they brought me here—to play nine innings and play hard every day. I don't like to come out of the game if the game is not over. That's me."
Normally I love guys that say those types of things when they back up the talk on the field! What is so frustrating about it is that when Fonzi is in the lineup, his bat can change a game, if he's hot of course. We all remember the stretches where it seems like he can't hit a grapefruit. Anyways, for 20 million a year the man should be concentrating EVERY PLAY! Please!? (I'm not even going to address him watching his "home runs" only to find that they were in fact doubles, which ended up being singles because he was admiring them instead of running)

UPDATE: Soriano hit a go-ahead home run to lead the Cubs to a 3-2 victory not 2 hours after this post went up. He's making me crazy! It's a magical year. (StevieY19 has the copyright on the word 'magic' when applied to the 2008 Chicago Cubs season)

Free Luol Deng!

Looks like the British ponied up the dough to insure Deng's back. The only thing left is for the Bulls to sign off on it and for the check to clear. Luol Deng is a free man! Personally I'm not thrilled to have him possibly hurt, especially considering this saga has uncovered some disturbing facts about his back. Oh well. Good luck Lu. (I love this photo of Deng. Classic.)

Today's Links--Rammy's Granny Edition

  • Finally! An analysis of the Dream Team vs. the Redeem Team that is based on empirical evidence. Dream Team wins by the way.
  • CUBBIES!!! Sorry, I was at the game last night. Recap: Hamels was untouchable, but the second he came out it was HR, double, single, walk, granny. Rammy is the man. Apparently it was Lou's birthday as well.
  • An explanation of how and why Deng cannot play in FIBA games because of his back, and what GB can do to make this go away. I'll give you a clue: It costs 2.5 million dollars.
  • Cubs v. White Sox World Series? It's possible, but Phil Rogers claims it would be a bad thing for the Cubs.
  • Hilarious exchange between a Sun-Times reader and the editor of the Times, along with other reader reactions (via deadspin). Oh and Ozzie seems pretty excited about Mariotti, but that's no surprise.
  • Roger Ebert weighs in on Mariotti leaving. He isn't happy with the "rat" either.
  • Apparently there was some kind of Bears game last night. Whatever. Wake me up when the regular season starts so our offense can put me right back to sleep.
  • Lovie is pissed about reports that Daniel Manning is out at nickelback. Ok Lovie, we get it. Daniel is your nickelback.

    • Thursday, August 28, 2008

      Michael Jordan Wrecks Mark Eaton

      Just watch the video. It's fucking sweet.

      Honoring Jay Mariotti Cont'd

      I forgot to put this in the links this morning, but honestly the story deserves it's own post. Here's Kelly Dwyer's take on Mariotti, and I don't think any assessment of his life, work and departure has been better than this one. Just a quick excerpt, but I recommend you read the whole article:


      He took what was the opposite of "sane" (not sure if they have a word for that), celebrated it, and passed it off as going against conventional wisdom. Well, going against conventional wisdom helps, if it means dismissing "wins" as a good stat for pitchers, or thinking that Jason Kidd is still working at an MVP level, or that Sgt. Pepper is a better album that Revolver; but in Jay's case, it only meant railing against the right take as a way to draw attention to himself.

      Which is why he wanted to be on the radio.
      Which is why he loved being on TV.
      Which is why ...

      Anyways, read the whole article. it's really well-written and spot-on.

      Todays Links--Manning-Free Edition

      Big Ten Preview: Ohio State

      College football season is approaching and for the next couple of weeks I'll be giving you some quick previews of the Big Ten. All ten....ummm eleven teams will be featured. Today we have the defending champs: Ohio State.


      Ohio State has dominated the Big Ten the past few season. They have been to the National Championship game the past two seasons and return 20 of their 24 starters. Tackle Alex Boone, linebacker James Laurinaitis, and cornerback Malcolm Jenkins passed up almost sure first round draft status to return for a shot at the National Championship...well, I guess to win the National Championship, since they've had a couple shots.

      Starting quarterback Todd Boeckman is back, as is Heisman hopeful Chris Wells (I will saw my leg off with my fingernails before I call him Beanie). Receivers Robiskie and Hartline are back...shit, everyone worth anything must be back. The real significant loss is DE Vernon Gholston. The rest are easily replaced. Positions of concern for the Buckeyes? Fullback. I feel so sorry for them.

      Of course, one of the big stories to watch will be freshman quarterback Terrelle Pryor. How much playing time will he get behind Todd Boeckman?

      Defensively, ten starters return, with only Gholston gone. What is there to predict, but success? If the Bucks don't win the Big Ten this year they should be slapped, laughed at, and slapped again.

      Big, huge, giant, Charlie Weis size game in Week Two at USC will be the game of the year in college football. The rest of the non-conference sucks and there are at least four Big Ten teams on the schedule with no chance of beating OSU. They play at Wisconsin and Illinois and have Penn State and Michigan at home.

      NBC Only Cares About an Athletes Personal Life If They Are Not Gay


      There was only one gay male athlete competing at this year's Olympics while being open about his sexuality. His name is Matthew Micham. The fact that this guy is out of the closet is really not that big a story. But things got interesting when this Australian Diver pulled off one hell of an upset. China was supposed to sweep the golds at the diving events, but in the 10m platform Micham won the gold.

      Not exactly the Miracle on Ice but a pretty huge win nevertheless.

      Now, NBC is notorious for over-emphasizing every single bit of drama from all of these athletes personal lives. However when this Aussie broke through China's dominance in diving NBC did not share one bit of information about this athlete's backstory.

      Behind the scenes a lot of people, including the Johnson & Johnson corporation, had to pull strings in order for Micham's family and Life Partner to be in attendance. Not once during this incredible performance did NBC mention his orientation nor did they show his family and "friend."

      Honestly, I don't give a shit about most of these stupid stories. But, I do take issue with the fact that I have to hear about things like Kerri Walsh's lost wedding ring and how a track athletes's fiancee is the cornerback for the Giants or even how a French swimmer stole an Italian swimmer's boyfriend and then when this extremely newsworthy story comes up NBC decides that it is time to become silent.

      I am not saying that NBC had to put this story the front page of it's Olympic website or show the guy making our with his boyfriend or anything. But, no mention at all? Not even just a shot of the family? I find it insulting to the viewers intelligence and it shows a lack of balls on NBC's part.

      Wednesday, August 27, 2008

      MLB Octagon Death Match: Zambrano vs. The Month Of August






      VS.






      It appears Zambrano has a new enemy on the mound, and that enemy is not any specific hitter or team. It isn't his mechanics. It definitely has nothing to do with caffeine or surfing the internet all night. According to Big Z, the only thing standing in his way each year is the month of August:
      ''I have to eliminate August. Once I get past August, everything will be back to normal,'' Zambrano said. ''I was thinking about that after the game. Last August wasn't that good, but I was able to come back, and September and October were good for me. So it's nothing to worry about.''
      August 2; Zambrano zilch. I think Z's first problem was that he was thinking. Clearly this is not something he is well-equipped to do. Once he gets past all the "thinking", August should work itself out.

      Big Ten Preview: Illinois



      College football season is approaching and for the next couple of weeks I'll be giving you some quick previews of the Big Ten. All ten....ummm eleven teams will be featured. Today is the one all (three) of you have been waiting for: Illinois.


      First, let me get this out of the way...ZOOOOOOOOOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!






      Okay, good. Last season was great for the Illini. Big wins over Wisconsin and Penn State, a Zooknormous upset at Ohio State, and a Rose Bowl appearance. But last season is gone and so is Big Ten Offensive POY Rashard Mendenhall. Oh, and so is J Leman. J Leman!!!!




      Still, expectations are high in Champaign as the Illini return the likes of Juice Williams, Aurrelious Benn, and everyone's favorite tight end Michael Hoomanawanui. Those are three sweet names. At running back, it will be senior Daniel Dufrene filling in for Mendenhall. Double D averaged 6.3 yards a carry last season on only 47 carries. Trent Meacham had more carries for Illinois last year. Zing!


      Defensively, Illinois is losing its leader in spirit, mullets, tackles, and resemblence to God in J Leman. DT Chris Norwell is also gone as are safeties Justin Harrison and Kevin Mitchell. What Illinois is losing in experience, they are gaining in athleticism and Zookyism. Linebacker Martez Wilson is an absolute stud and freshman safety Donsay Hardeman isn't far behind him. DE should be another area of strength with Doug Pilcher and Derek Walker returning.


      Things will get interesting early for Illinois. If you know what college football is and you are breathing, you know that Illinois-Mizzou is the game of the first week. The rest of the non-conference is easier than easy. The Big Ten season starts with a night game at Penn State, which is always fun, then a trip to Ann Arbor. A trip to Wisconsin and a home date with OSU are the only other two games of note, unless the Illini want to pull another huge embarrassing failure against Iowa.


      The key to the season? Offensively, it's up to Juice. The media seems to be annointing him as a QB on the rise, citing Juice as the reason to fear the Illini. Well he tossed 13 TDs last season and threw 12 interceptions, so there will need to be marked improvement this year if Juice is to carry the offense. Just throw it to Benn! Defensively, the young guns need to be as athletic as advertised and still have the discipline and strength to stop Big Ten offenses. Still, Illinois has a squad that can contend for another BCS Bowl appearance and should finish in the top three or four in the conference.

      Phil Jackson Coached Many Great Players; Greatest? Dennis Rodman Of Course

      Phil Jackson received an honorary degree from the University of North Dakota and while giving his speech, he touched on some interesting topics. The most interesting of which was answering the question of who the greatest player he ever coached was. According to Lakers Blog, his answer was a little mystifying:

      “He could probably play a 48-minute game and play the 48th minute stronger than the first minute of the game,” Jackson told the crowd at UND. “He was that terrific an athlete.”

      Jackson credited Madonna for helping Rodman overcome his “shy” personality.

      “Madonna saw what was in there and wanted him . . . to do what she does: be outrageous, and kind of talked him into opening up his character,” Jackson said. “And Dennis didn’t know how many ways he could open up his character.”

      No, not MJ. Not Pipp. Not Kobe. Not Shaq. Not Fisher, Fox, Harper, Malone, Cartwright, Armstrong, Paxson or Smush Parker. Dennis Rodman was his guy. Sometimes Phil likes to joke around with reporters, but this one seems legitimate. And Madonna was good for him? I wonder what kind of crazy acid he was tripping on when he gave this speech (or pretty much while he has done anything in the last 40 years).

      Honoring Jay Mariotti

      In honor of Jay Mariotti leaving, I want to post a story that happened to one of our commentors. I think it typifies how much he sucks and what an idiot he is:
      I was working the door at a new bar here in Chicago about a month ago, and there was a line. i see jay marrioti stumbling down the street by himself, towards the bar. i ask myself, what is he gonna say to try to get in??? I enjoyed it when he simply stated, "I'm Jay Marrioti." I said, "I know. Step to the side, it will only be a few minutes." What a douche.
      Hahaha. I wish that I was the doorman in this story. Either way, Jay Mariotti sucks. I will be welcoming stories all week long about how much of a shithead he is, or links to old ridiculous articles hes written. Good riddance.

      Obama-Biden and Osama Bin-Laden; Coincidence? Fox News Doesn't Think So

      Thanks to Black Rob for linking this. I know it's not Chicago sports related, or even sports related, but this screen shot from Fox News is too good to pass up.

      Apologies to those that accidentally clicked the link. It appears Black Rob's links join the group of other things about him that are gay (his pants, his purple shirts, his vegetarianism, his love for men, etc.)

      Today's Links--Fukudome Effect Edition


      • The Fukudome Effect on the Cubs has been astronomical, according to one fan's analysis. I don't know how much this impact can be attributed to Kosuke, but either way the numbers are interesting.
      • Good riddance to Jay Mariotti. You will not be missed. In fact, I would punch you in the face if I saw you walking down the street.
      • As Bob Brenly said "The play of the game was when Geovanny Soto put on his uniform." Soto had 7 RBIs to lead the cubs to a 14-9 win.
      • Joe Crede is back (double meaning there, get it..."back"). Anyways, if he can swing the stick with the kind of power he had before the injury, this is good news for Sox fans.
      • Barack Obama thinks Sox fans are better than Cubs fans. And get this, he would pick Walter Payton to be his VP if he were to pick an athlete. (Update sent in from Gavin: D-Lee agrees)
      • The Ricky Manning Jr. era ends in Chicago. It was expensive and overrated.
      • Sox beat Orioles. Floyd gets all the help he needs. Isn't it great when the bats and the pitching are sharp?
      • Theriot is awesome. This article told me so.

      Tuesday, August 26, 2008

      Charles Barkley Rips MJ For A Bad Golf Shot

      The actual video isn't that funny I guess, but I just find it hilarious that Berkley is giving Jordan shit about his golf game for two reasons. 1) Barkley has the ugliest golf swing in history; and 2) You know Jordan is just steaming about this. Remember how he used to get with the Bulls when someone talked shit about/to him? He went nuts, but in this case there's nothing he can do. Hilarious. Here's the video via NESW:

      Kevin Duckworth Dies; Reminds Us To Be Grateful For Other Duckworths We Still Have

      Kevin Duckworth died today, and in honor of his death we are going to list other great Duckworths through that years that have touched our lives. Feel free to chime in with any others.

      1. Mr. Duckworth from Ducktales. He wasn't exactly well-respected by Scrooge McDuck or his nephews, but we all loved the show. And who can forget the wonderful theme song?

      2. Tammy Duckworth from Iraq. She lost both of her legs and the use of her right arm in Iraq. An American hero.
      3. Mr. Gerald Ducksworth from Mighty Ducks. "Quack quack quack, Mr. Ducksworth". We all remember Gordon Bombay's meteoric rise to the top of the legal profession, before his precipitous fall after the DUI. But do we all remember the partner at the firm he worked with? Mr. Ducksworth of course.
      Mr. Ducksworth from Mighty Ducks is my favorite, but no matter who you choose, we should count ourselves lucky for the Duckworths we have.

      Big Ten Preview: Michigan


      College football season is approaching and for the next couple of weeks I'll be giving you some quick previews of the Big Ten. All ten....ummm eleven teams will be featured. Today it'll be the Wolverines of Michigan.


      Where to start with Michigan? The so called Bo Schembechler Era, which lasted over 30 years, is over. Lloyd Carr was carried off the field by his players and pushed away by some of the fans. It was time for a change. So now it's Rich Rodriguez's turn, as he left West Virginia allegedly shredding documents, stealing recruits, and raping all the women and children.

      The challenges ahead are many for the new era of Michigan football. A new system, of which none of the players are familiar, two quarterbacks with just as much combined experience as me and Martha Stewart, and an offensive line with about 13 combined starts, all from one guy.

      As of now, it looks as if walk-on Nick Sheridan will win the starting job. Great. The wide receivers are inexperienced as well, with only Greg Mathews sporting significant playing time. The bright spot on the offense is without a doubt the running back position. Juniors Brandon Minor and Carlos Brown return after impressive showings against Illinois and Minnesota last year, and freshmen Michael Shaw and Sam McGuffie (mixtape please) will see ample playing time. Do they have a chance to be good? Sure. The freshmen will have to play like upper-classmen and one or both quarterbacks will have to prove he isn't completely incapable.

      Michigan's 33 year bowl streak will ride on the defense this season. The defensive line will be good, there is no question. Tim Jamison and Brandon Graham will get after the quarterback, while Will Johnson and Terrance Taylor will try and plug the middle. The linebackers should play offense for Michigan they are so inexperiened. Obi Ezeh in the middle is the only LB to start a game; and he's a sophomore. The corners form one of the top tandems in the Big Ten with senior Morgan Trent and last year's B10 Freshman of the Year Donovan Warren. Two new safeties will need to fill in.

      The defense will be good, maybe even great, but the offense will need to grasp the new spread offense to do anything that will make Michigan fans happy this season. The non-conference schedule starts with a home date against Utah. The Utes are ranked by the experts anywhere from around 30 to around 13th. It won't be an easy opener. Then a trip to South Bend is the only other test. The Big Ten schedule starts with a doozies against Wisconsin and Illinois. A couple weeks later it's at Penn State followed by Michigan State at home, and of course the finale with Ohio State. What is a success for Michigan this year? If you ask this humble Michigan fan, it's beating two of the three rivals and keeping the bowl streak alive. We'll see.

      Are You Sick Of Kyle Orton Yet? Clearly I'm Not, And Neither Is Lindsay Lohan


      According to Bill Zwecker of the Chicago Sun-Times, Lindsay Lohan thinks Kyle Orton is "super-hot". If his neckbeard can't make her straight again, I don't know what will:

      Also spied dancing with an attractive blonde at Crimson Lounge: new Bears quarterback Kyle Orton -- dubbed ''super-hot'' by Lohan, Ronson and Lauper, who all admired the NFL player's dance-floor moves.
      I wonder what Mrs. Orton thinks about this. Judging by his amazing footwork, I can easily believe he's a good dancer.

      Today's Links

      Monday, August 25, 2008

      This Really Isn't the Yankees Season


      Check out this report from the RealGM:

      New York Daily News - Jason Giambi and Joba Chamberlain were recently celebrating a win against the Kansas City Royals at Southern Hospitality, on Second Avenue, when a table of fans challenged them to a game of [Beer Pong] the college drinking sport.

      "The fans gave them a beating," said an onlooker. "Toward the end Chamberlain and Giambi got really competitive, but it wasn't enough."


      With the whole Mustache thing and all the thongs being struted around, I didn't think this season could get any more demoralizing for Giambi and the Yanks, but then I found out that this bar is owned by Justin Timberlake. Wow.

      Carlos Boozer is an Olympian

      The Olympics are over. Redeem Team this , Phelps that and Usain Bolt blah blah blah. This event was covered so intensely with every single ounce of emotion squeezed from every storyline. So, really I have nothing more to add except to make sure that you check these two things out.

      The first is something I just have to make sure everyone has seen, check out World of Isaac to see a Cuban Olympian kick the shit out of a referee.

      Pretty Hilarious.

      And since you don't want to read any more of analysis of the olympics, TotallyCrap.com put together a pictorial of the best pics from the olympics(part 2 and part 3 my favorite collection). Including these gems, enjoy.

      Kyle Orton Talks About The Neckbeard, Football, The Beatles and His Prius

      Thanks to Danimal for sending this to us. Wow. Kyle Orton rides the train or drives his Prius. He goes "all the way green" apparently.


      Big Ten Preview: Wisconsin

      College football season is approaching and for the next couple of weeks I'll be giving you some quick previews of the Big Ten. All ten....ummm eleven teams will be featured. Today it's Wisconsin.

      If I were a defensive coordinator in the Big Ten this season, my plan to stop Wisconsin would include selling out to stop the run. You hear the phrase "eight in the box" a lot when it comes to this approach. Eight will almost certainly not be enough against UW's running game.

      The Badgers lost one of the best criminals in football in Lance Smith (he was also a good RB) to...ummm...crime, but return star P.J. Hill and backup Zach Brown. Look out for redshirt freshman John Clay as well. Two great running backs returning is good; couple it with the return of five starters on the offensive line and it has the potential to be one of the nation's best running games.

      Despite the return of Travis Beckum, an all-american candidate at tight end, and some good young talent at wide receiver, the passing game is suspect. It looks like senior Allan Evridge has won the starting QB job. Evridge started at Kansas State his fresman year, but other than that brief stint, has little experience. The Badgers do seem to have a knack for turning an unknown starter into a dependable game-manager type lately though, and it will need to happen this year, or defenses will be content to stop the run at all costs.

      Defensively, things look pretty good for Wisconsin. Despite losing CB Jack Ikegwuonu, the Badgers have some experience and talent returning. Safety Shane Carter picked off seven passes last season, senior Allen Langford will step in for Ikegwuono, and the front seven is strong. Langford and Carter are solid, but the rest of the defensive backs are generally inexperienced. Wisconsin also had trouble forcing turnovers last season, with only 19 in 13 games.

      The non-conference schedule looks very soft with Akron, Marshall, and Fresno State at the start, and the ever dangerous Cal Poly to end the season. There is a killer run in the Big Ten season, though: at Michigan, then home games against Ohio State, Penn State, and Illinois, with a trip to Iowa in the middle. The toughest games are at home, but the toughest games are also, you know, tough.

      Bielema is 21-5 in two years with Wisconsin, and he looks to have another strong squad capable of winning the Big Ten. Anything outside of the top three should be a huge disappointment for the Badgers.

      I Don't Think The Sex Cannon Even Knew What A 3-Step Drop Was

      As reader hacocacyb said when he sent me this picture he made, "a photo speaks a bazillion words". I don't know much about fundamentals, but I doubt Grossman's drop looked like this.

      Kyle Orton Textbook Three Step Drop

      I do like Orton more and more to manage this offense, though I don't know if his neckbeard will be able to overcome all the glaring question marks.

      Fantasy Football Draft Keeps Cubs Players Interested During Boring 2008 Baseball Season

      Once again Mark DeRosa brings us some great insider stuff in his blog. (Thanks to Danimal for the link) This time he talks about the Fantasy Football league from the Cubbies clubhouse, as well as his own crazy fantasy league:

      One of my favorite times of the year is coming around -- the start of football season is almost upon us. That means one thing for this guy which is studying up and reading my fantasy football magazines and going online and trying to set my lists of potential bests and sleepers in the upcoming draft.

      I play in four leagues, which is a little too much, I think, because I have a tendency to not want the same guys on each team, so I end up rooting for the entire league, which is no good. There's nothing like fantasy football to make a Cleveland Browns-Minnesota Vikings football game interesting to me on a Sunday afternoon in Atlanta, Ga.

      I definitely have my eye on Tony Romo. I don't know where I'm picking. We have an unbelievable fantasy football league with the Cubs. On one of the road trips, we'll rent a banquet room and have our draft. It's one of the highlights of the year for a lot of guys. We have a lot of guys who are into it. We have a lot of ribbing going on and have a good time.

      I also do a league I've been doing since I first came up. John Burkett started it a long time ago, and we've seen it flourish from about 20 guys to now where there's 90 guys in the league, past and current players. That's probably the most important league.

      I've finished in the top five a couple times. I'm always the guy who gets to the playoffs and gets bounced in the first round. Hopefully, this year, I'll go in with a plan. I have many strategies depending on where I draft. Obviously, if I draft early, you'd love to get one of the best running backs in the game. If I'm drafting late in the first round, I might try to get two wide outs real quick and throw a wrench into everybody's system.

      It sounds like DeRosa is a shark about this stuff. He really knows what he's talking about. A few quick things though: Who is in this Cubs league? I would assume (in the most racist way possible) that most of the hispanic players are only interested in soccer, so they don't play. I am guessing Dempster, Theriot, Lee maybe, Reed Johnson, Edmonds possibly? Anyways, I bet its a great league. In line with StevieY19's earlier post about how to be a douchebag at fantasy football drafts, I wonder which guys are the ones making the smartass remarks? Is Derrek Lee so nice that you can bother him enough into making a shitty trade? I want in this league.

      Second, how do you do a 90 team fantasy league? That I don't get. If anyone knows how to do that, please explain it to me. Anyways, I hope this all keeps the players busy while they are partaking in the slow, boring job of trying to win a pennant.

      Today's Links--Back To School Edition

      • Whether you like him or not, A.J. Pierzynski sure knows how to win (cheat). Sox win to jump back into first by a half game.
      • Angelo is on the defensive about Chris Williams' injury.
      • Rich Harden had double digit strikeouts. Again. Wow. DeRosa homered in his 4th straight game. Wow. Cubs win again. Cubs are the first team in baseball to 80 wins.
      • The Redeem Team was a shitty nickname, can we put it to bed now that they won the gold medal?
      • Blogabull compares J.R. Smith to Ben Gordon in terms of market value now that Smith got a 3 year deal.

      Sunday, August 24, 2008

      Chicago Bears Wide Receiver Bonanza

      The Chicago Bears have 5 receivers that may make the roster. They might only carry 4, but lets just say they keep 5. Those 5 receivers suck. They are just plain bad. It's almost laughable how bad these guys are. I don't understand how any quarterback can be expected to succeed without anyone to throw the ball too (not to mention not having any real protection on a consistent basis). I guess we have to analyze the 6 guys that have a legit shot at making the squad, but to be honest I hate them all. Whatever, everyone should know their receiving corps, so here it is:

      Earl Bennett: Drafted in the third round this year out of Vanderbilt. Well, to be honest, I'm not sure who this guy is. I don't think he has a preseason catch. Is he hurt? I don't know. I have no memory of hearing anything about this guy or even seeing him in uniform. Yeah, apparently he might make the team.

      Marty Booker: Ok so we gave this guy a multi-year multi-million dollar contract to....sit? I think Rex threw to him one time on Thursday and I'm pretty sure that ball was picked off. We all remember Booker from a few years back when he led the team in receptions. Booker can be a decent possession guy. He doesn't have great hands or speed, but he was solid. I don't know many 32 year old receivers that were so average in their prime that ended up contributing, but we'll see.

      Marc Bradley: Totally unproven, totally raw, totally injury-prone. All that being said, I like this guy the most. He has had flashes in his limited play the last couple years and he can emerge as a good option for Neckbeard if he can stay healthy. He had a couple nice catches in the preseason and looks to be a big factor this year.

      Rashied Davis: I thought this guy was more of an underused slot-type guy until Orton hit him for 2 TDs the other night. I don't know how good he is, but if Orton trusts him, he might have a good year. Unlike the Chicago media, I will not drool over this guy just because he had one good preseason game, but he might be decent. Can he be an NFL starter? I can't believe I have to ask that question.

      Devin Hester: I love this guy, you love this guy, everyone loves this guy. My favorite thing about him is when some opposing coach says "We'll kick to him". Will they never learn? Anyways, this guy can't run routes, catch or do really anything but be a decoy on offense. It doesn't seem like his playing time with the offense will turn out well, but he's Devin Hester, so who knows? (On another note, I would bet $100 he can't spell his own name, the guy seems straight up retarded)

      Brandon Lloyd: Former Illini, made some Sportscenter catches in SF a couple years ago, not very good. I don't think he can emerge as a star, but he might be a decent target for Orton this year. He has good hands so if Orton has time to throw, this guy might be a good target. His best season ever he had 48 catches, and its not like the Bears have that much better of an offense than the other teams hes played for.

      Anyways, this receiving corps is a nameless faceless bunch and it seems unlikely they will make a lot of noise this year. Who are these guys? How was this an acceptable thing for the Bears front office to allow to happen? Who knows, but at least Bernard Berrian has turf toe. Enjoy that contract, Minnesota.

      Today's Links--I'm On Vacation Edition

      Friday, August 22, 2008

      Five Tips for Your Fantasy Football Draft


      With the NFL regular season about to get underway, you've either had your fantasy draft already, or it's coming up soon. With that in mind, here are some guidelines to follow during your draft.

      1. Buy a six pack- It's not a quick process, this draft. We're talking at least an hour of sitting around your apartment, or parents' basement with little to do between picks unless your preparation is so bad you have to research about whether to take Hines Ward or Chad Johnson with your next pick. Bottom line, you need some beer, trust me, it will help you with the other four.

      2. Make fun of your opponents- Nothing spices up a good draft like mocking your league-mates. For example, when someone drafts Torry Holt in the second round, you say, "I wasn't aware stats from 2002 are being retroactively applied." Something like that, except, you know, funny. After four of those beers you'll get the hang of it.

      3. Suggest picks for others- This one is easy. Best spot is where you suggest Ryan Leaf for your luckier-than-shit friend who has the first pick of the draft. Then later in the draft you give such sound advice as, "Not a bad time to look at Chris Henry," or such false info as "Shaun Alexander looked great in the preseason."

      4. Comment on the makeup of other teams- Once you're about ten rounds into your draft, and hopefully as many into your drinking, take a look at some of the teams that have been picked. There will always be something remarkable. One of your buddies will definitely have too many white guys. He'll have gone with Welker, Kevin Curtis, and Favre or something ridiculous, and some really white defense, like the Dolphins (?). Someone will have too many Patriots and then you get to make fun of him for being a closet Pats fan. Just keep an eye out.

      5. Finally, use your last pick to put a stamp on the draft. Take Akili Smith, or the Sex Cannon. It's a good idea to type "SLEEPER!!!" before this pick, then bam! coke addict Matt Jones. You can always pick up a free agent kicker after the draft, don't worry about it.

      So there you are; follow these tips and your team will still most likely smell of rotten ass, but your draft will be very fun. Plus, you get to drink.

      Phelps Putting Fame to Good Use

      It didn't take Olympic superstar Michael Phelps long to take advantage of his record breaking performance. Everyone knew the jersey (speedo?) chasers would be flocking, and Phelps opted for Aussie Swimmer Stephanie Rice.


      And who better to bring us the story than the NY Post? According to the Post, the two were spotted "sucking face" at a celebrity party in Beijing. Mark Spitz and his porn-stasche are undoubtedly pleased with the move by Phelps. This also means I should post this picture of Phelps:

      Big Ten Preview: Penn State

      College football season is approaching and for the next couple of weeks I'll be giving you some quick previews of the Big Ten. All ten....ummm eleven teams will be featured. Today, the Nittany Lions of Penn State.


      Okay, so Joe Paterno forgot to retire again. He's old, it happens. Penn State has gone through its share of problems in the offseason, losing running backs Rodney Kinlaw (graduation) and Austin Scott (rape charges), quarterback Anthony Morelli, and various other players to graduation and the slammer.

      Wide receiver Derrick Williams is the top returning player on an offense that will break in two new quarterbacks to replace Morelli. Penn State has flirted with the idea of the spread offense, which it used in its successful 2005 campaign, but shockingly JoePa has decided to play it conservative with the smashmouth game. Williams' fellow wideout Deon Butler will also be an impact player, assuming one of these new QBs can throw.

      Defensively, Penn State is seemingly always strong, but attrition along with injury will test the team this season. On the line they lose a couple DTs who had a knack for beating the shit out of fellow students, but DE Maurice Evans returns and he is the real deal. As for the linebackers, Sean Lee was in line to be the next great white MLB hope, but tore his ACL. In the back, the Lions lose CB Justin King, but return All Big Ten Overrated 1st Team Safety Anthony Scirotto.

      Oregon State is the only moderate test in the non-conference schedule, but we'll see what this team is all about when they host Illinois September 27th under the lights in Happy Valley. Other notable games are night games at Wisconsin and Ohio State and Michigan at home to try and snap that horrendous losing streak before JoePa retires.

      Overall, it's about the quarterbacks and linebackers. If one of the new signal callers steps up and a replacement for Lee is found, Penn State will easily finish in the top four or five in the Big Ten.

      Zambrano Breaks Tooth While Eating Baby, Fighting Godzilla

      Maybe this is how he broke his tooth.
      Eating a train can be dangerous.

      It's being reported that Carlos Zambrano apparently broke his molar in the middle of the game, and yet continued to pitch:

      As Zambrano warmed up for the fifth inning, trainer Mark O'Neal noted that he "made a grimace."
      O'Neal rushed out and fans were left holding their breath, but before Piniella made it to the mound, the situation had been corrected. And it was nothing to spit at.
      Zambrano had cracked an upper right molar but quickly spit it out and proceeded to complete seven innings of one-run ball as the Cubs won their seventh straight series and increased their National League Central lead over idle Milwaukee to 51/2 games.
      And exactly how does a pitcher crack a tooth during a game? Well, how does a pitcher who e-mails too much develop cramps in his forearm?
      "I think I ate too much gum, and the gum has a lot of sugar," Zambrano said. "I keep telling my daughter not to eat a lot of gum and I'm not a good example. I think my daughters will be all over me at the house. I accept it."


      I don't know if I really need to say much here for this to be funny. I mean, how do you crack a tooth on gum? And just to clear things up for the wonderful journalist who wrote this story; he did not get cramps in his forearm from emailing, everyone knows that magical night was when Carlos Zambrano discovered porn on the internet.

      After Mediocre Performance Chicago Media Builds Church of Kyle Orton

      Kyle Orton performed admirably last night. His line was 10-17 for 147 yards, 2 touchdowns and the best statistic, no interceptions or fumbles. He had a passer rating of 126.3. He was able to throw downfield a bit, he hit some guys across the middle and even checked down a few times. Kyle Orton definitely looked better than Rex Grossman. In fact, Kyle Orton looked even better than most of the Kyle Orton we've seen. It was a good performance for an offense in need of some confidence.

      That being said, now let's look at the reality of the situation. The defense he was up against was 20th in the league in points allowed last year and 22nd in passing yards allowed. He will have to face about 10-12 better defenses than them. The offensive line finally stepped up as well, giving him the kind of time we have really not seen them give Rex Grossman or anyone in the past year and a half. Most importantly I think, is that Kyle was working on a short field for a lot of the game. The special teams, which did have its blunders, gave him ridiculous field position in the first half. Orton had an average starting field position of about midfield in that magical first half.

      Now all those good and bad things being said, Orton still had a very good game. But it was one game! A preseason game! He's never made a lot of mistakes and has generally looked solid, though not overly impressive, but last night he had a good game. Just one. I'm sure the Chicago media won't prematurely anoint him the next Sid Luckman, right? Wrong. Let's look at today's ridiculous headlines:


      Chicago Tribune: On-target Orton dispels doubt for Bears

      "Showing more emotion than he had since winning the job, quarterback Kyle Orton pumped his fist in the air with a smile that showed as much relief as joy.

      A sideline full of teammates, an organization committed to developing Orton and a football city desperate for hope could relate."


      Chicago Sun-Times: Bears have their man

      "If the Bears would have known Kyle Orton was going to play like this, he might have been given the starting job weeks -- maybe months -- ago. Heck, last season.

      The Orton-led offense was efficient, productive and, dare we say, a little dangerous. You know, everything you're not used to seeing in these parts."


      Daily Herald: Orton, 'O' looking good, but defense doesn't in Bears loss

      "In his first game since being named the Bears' starting quarterback, Kyle Orton responded with a nearly flawless performance."


      The headlines are my favorite. Especially "On-target Orton dispels doubts for Bears". Really? He dispelled doubts? He looked good, but I would definitely not say that 30 minutes of a decent performance by the offense against a shitty team dispelled any doubts for me. These headlines are going to be even funnier in the very possible event that by Week 9 we are calling for Lovie to bench Orton for Grossman. I hope it doesn't happen, but we all know it might.

      I think the Bears will win 9 or 10 games this year, but I know that might be a little high. Either way, if they win a lot of games I highly doubt it will be because of this offense. The Chicago sports media is probably right though. They usually are (sarcasm).

      Today's Links

      Thursday, August 21, 2008

      Your Obligatory Bulls Content


      Since Mr. Stormin' Norman is gone today, I figured I had better post a Bulls story, since he does so at an alarming pace when he is here. So here we are. The folks over at hoopsworld are doing some previews on NBA teams in which four different writers give their takes on one team.

      The Bulls get the business from writers who typically cover the Blazers, Bucks, Clippers, and Bulls. I didn't read it, since I couldn't possibly care less, so I can't give you highlights.

      Big Z hits Game Winning Homer for Cubs

      Carlos Zambrano had been struggling recently. It looked like it was more of the same today as Z walked the Reds leadoff man on four pitches. But, after a mound visit from himself, he talked himself into settling down and shut down Cincy for most of the afternoon.

      The Cubs rode a run in the first, a DeRosa homer in the second, and Z's blast in the third to a 3-2 win to grab the series against the Reds and a 5.5 game lead over the Brewers in the Central.


      With a season like the Cubs are putting together, several guys have to step up for periods and help carry the team, and right now it's Mark DeRosa's time. He's playing great defense and getting big hits.

      It's always fun to watch Zambrano slam homers though, and if I'm not mistaken, that's his second straight home start going deep. At least this one was coupled with, you know, not making Skip Schumaker look like an all-star.

      Priest Allegedly Molested Boy at Sox Game

      A lawsuit filed against the Chicago Archdiocese yesterday alleges that one of its priests molested a boy at a White Sox game in August of 2005. The priest, Daniel McCormack, has racked up 23 abuse allegations against him according to records released last week. When asked about the high number of incidents, McCormack said, "I couldn't really find one I liked."
      Okay, he didn't say that, but this is one sick father. It's a White Sox game; the least he could have done was stab someone. On a side note, I don't have any idea how the Sox found the favor with the Big Guy to beat a team called the Angels with this kind of thing going on in the stands.

      Big Ten Preview: Iowa


      College football season is approaching and for the next couple of weeks I'll be giving you some quick previews of the Big Ten. All ten....ummm eleven teams will be featured. Today it's Iowa.


      Bar none, the most boring team in the Big Ten last season was Iowa. They gave up an average of about 18 points per game and scored an average of about 18 points per game. Thank God they got rid of ties in college football. They lost consecutive games last year by scores of 13-15 and 13-17.

      Will the offense be any better this season? The law of averages is the only thing that suggests it. The Hawks lose their two top runners, Albert Young and Damian Sims, who accounted for all but 48 of Iowa's 1,515 rushing yards last season. The Hawkeyes hope juco transfer Nate Guillory will be able to fill in at running back to take some pressure of the passing game. Quarterback Jake Christensen was good at taking care of the football last season (17 TD, 6 INT), but he'll lose the luxury of the running backs carrying the burden and will need to take some more risks.

      The defense also has some issues after losing six players from last season's third ranked scoring defense in the Big Ten. Both starting corners are gone and two new linebackers will need to step up. Defensive tackles Matt Kroul and Mitch King will be the bright spots on the defense.

      This could be the season that puts Kirk Ferentz on the hot seat, if he isn't already. The man was taking calls from NFL teams just a few years ago, but in the last three years, Iowa is 19-18 overall and 11-13 in Big Ten play.

      Maine and Florida International should be easy enough to start the year, but Ferentz probably needs six more wins to quiet the doubters. Missing Ohio State and Michigan will help, but the Wisconsin, Illinois, Penn State gauntlet late in the season will determine the fate of this team and perhaps Ferentz's future.

      Today's Links

      Wednesday, August 20, 2008

      Your Chicago Bears Fantasy Football Guide

      Are you the type of person who needs to have some guys from your favorite team on your fantasy squad? If you are, and you're a Bears fan, then this year may be somewhat of a challenge. I mean, do you really feel like you're representing your team by making sure you get Robbie Gould in the 14th round? Listen, I've been a fan of the Detroit Lions for my entire fantasy career and therefore have been in this situation just like you guys. So, I'm here to help you out, because if people like you Bears fans take these guys, I don't have to.


      Quarterback: Oh my God, don't even think about it. Yeah, it might be funny to pick up the Sex Cannon in the last round, but then you're stuck sacrificing your waiver priority for the guy you should have picked up or waiting an excruciating three days, all for making one guy in your draft room laugh. Plus, if Stormin' Norman is in your league, Rex was gone rounds ago.


      Running Back: Here is your first target. Expect Forte to go around the 25th running back position, which will fall around the 7th round. Jumping guys like Edge, Selvin Young, and Brandon Jacobs may not be such a horrible idea to take Forte. Also, Kevin Jones is a pick with big upside in the late rounds. Grab one of these guys!


      Wide Receiver: I read something recently that said the Bears top three receivers (not counting Hester) would not make a lot of NFL teams. Marty Booker was a good pick at the turn of the century, but he is closing in on 50 now. Still, he is primed to be the top target for Cannon and neck beard, so he is worth taking late. Hester is also playable in spots, like when a team says "we're not afraid of kicking to Devin Hester."


      Tight End: Both of the Bear's tight ends should be drafted in most leagues. To get Olsen you'll have to jump guys like Scheffler, L.J. Smith, and Owen Daniels to be sure you get him; none of whom are locks to produce this year. Clark will be more of a last couple rounds type guy as a backup TE, but he should get his share of passes since Chicago is so weak on the outside.


      Defense: Most experts are rating the Bears defense between fourth and ninth. The Giants are behind the Bears in some expert rankings and with the overrating that is sure to follow the Super Bowl, you can count on the Giants going high. You may have to jump the Cowboys and Jags to grab the Bears. Defense is such a crapshoot in terms of where they will start flying off the board, but usually you're safe for the first five or six rounds.


      Kicker: Shouldn't be too hard to get Robbie if you want him. The only obstacle should be another Bears enthusiast.

      MRS. Orton?? Does This Mean An End To The Jack-Swilling, Neckbeard-Wearing Quarterback We Know And Love?

      This video comes from Busted Coverage and it shows Mrs. Orton talking about Kyle's neckbeard, among other boring things. The point is, how could this have happened? Kyle Orton getting married? If the neckbeard goes, I don't see how this starting job can last. No one will respect a sober, married, clean-shaven Kyle Orton. We'll see.


      Top Ten Nominee showed me this and I couldn't pass it up.

      Eddy Curry is a 385 Pound Gymnast


      According to Ball Don't Lie, the wikipedia page for Eddy Curry says that:

      Prior to becoming considered one of the best high school basketball players
      in the nation as a senior at Thornwood High School in South Holland, Illinois,
      Curry aspired to be a gymnast and did not pick up basketball until the seventh
      grade when he reluctantly went out for the school team. According to his father,
      Eddy Curry Sr., 'For a long time, Eddy hated basketball. Being a gymnast was his
      backyard dream, I guess.


      Weight: 385 lb

      Ok well obviously this is going to get taken down and changed, since wikipedia gets screwed with all the time, but there are some clear truths here:


      1) Eddy Curry hates basketball. This fact did not change over the years, as evidenced by his effortless (literally without exerting effort) play for the Bulls and Knicks.


      2) He was definitely one of the best high school players in the country as a senior. This was surely based on talent and not size or effort. I know this because I personally watched him score 8 points and foul out at the Proviso East tournament that year. Against high school kids. At 6'11", 385 (maybe he wasn't that fat yet).


      3) Eddy Curry weighs 385 pounds. This fact should not get changed. Even if he does weigh less, his feet seem so heavy they might as well weigh a couple 100 each.


      Eddy Curry Sucks.


      Big Ten Preview: Purdue


      College football season is approaching and for the next couple of weeks I'll be giving you some quick previews of the Big Ten. All ten....ummm eleven teams will be featured. Today it's Purdue. Make it four Boilermakers!

      This is the last season for Joe Tiller (or Wilford Brimley) in West Lafayette and the Boilermakers will have some extra motivation to send him into his diabeetus commercial making future with a solid season.

      While Rich Rodriguez will bring his wide open spread offense to Ann Arbor this year, it was Tiller who gave the Big Ten its first look at a spread attack. Returning starter Curtis Painter will give Purdue a shot in most games, but he loses his top three targets from a season ago. Running back Jaycen Taylor was just lost for the season, and WR Greg Jones is the only real threat other than Painter to come back.

      That being said, the defense is the real trouble area. They were very mediocre last season, finishing eighth in total defense in the Big Ten.

      Purdue will figure out what they have early in the season, when Oregon comes to town in Week Two. Then its a rematch with Central Michigan, who Purdue barely beat in its bowl game last year, then at Notre Dame. Big Ten play starts brutally, with Penn State at home and on the road against the Buckeyes. Missing Illinois and Wisconsin will help, but it won't be easy to send Tiller out with a bowl appearance in 2008, much less a New Year's farewell.

      The Ultimate Shitty Quarterback

      This picture comes via Kissing Suzy Kolber, though apparently it was created by the guys over at Holy Taco. Is Rex Grossman really the dumbest quarterback in the NFL such that his brain would be a part of this awesome quarterback? I guess so. Anyways, this picture cracks me up:




      Today's Links

    • 59 ks in 42 innings for Rich Harden as a Cub. Wow. Cubs win by the way.
    • Kelly Dwyer from Ball Don't Lie sums up why Ben Gordon's "ultimatum" was pretty much an empty threat. Good analysis.
    • Chicago Sky player Sylvia Fowles puts up 26 and 14 in a quarterfinal at the Olympics. I know I know, its women's basketball, but still....smells like a Grant Park rally.
    • Sox win behind Richard. The kid looked poised, but he definitely got in a lot of jams.
    • Toby Hall gets hurt pie-facing Jermaine Dye? This ranks up there with Sammy Sosa sneezing and missing weeks of baseball.
    • Interview with Mike Fontenot on Bleed Cubbie Blue. The kid has heart.
    • The Top Ten List you've tried to do with your friends 100 times; Bears quarterbacks since Brett Favre took over with the Packers. Enjoy.
    • Tuesday, August 19, 2008

      BEST. SPORTS. THEME. EVER.

      I got this gem from CNNSI: Extra Mustard who got it from BlogofHilarity.com This video really speaks for itself. It discuss the genius behind the most exciting and invigorating sports broadcasting intro music ever made. Not only that but you get a little shout out for Da Bulls.



      This video was brought to you by Prudential

      Big Ten Preview: Michigan State




      College football season is approaching and for the next couple of weeks I'll be giving you some quick previews of the Big Ten. All ten....ummm eleven teams will be featured. Today it's the Spartans of Michigan State.






      Reading various previews of the Big Ten season, the opinion seems to be that the Spartans could be the surprise team of the conference. They are rumored to be more mentally strong than Sparty teams of the past and ready to turn the corner.

      A 6-6 season in Dantonio's debut, in which all six losses came by a touchdown or less, shows MSU is playing well, but not necessarily mentally tough. Two horrible losses against Iowa and Northwestern and signature fourth quarter chokes against Wisconsin and Michigan don't give me much confidence in MSU's rumored title contender status.


      The Spartans lose Devin Thomas, Kellen Davis, and Jehuu Caulcrick, but return quarterback Brian Hoyer and star running back Javon Ringer. Ringer is a solid back who can hit the big play, but it remains to be seen how he will hold up as the feature back without an established pounder like Caulcrick taking carries. Look out for stud freshman Fred Smith this year, he has the size and speed to contribute early.


      Defensively, MSU has very little of note, but Dantonio's committment to toughness improved the D last year and it should do enough to keep the Spartans in games. It's just a matter of winning some of these close ones.


      We should get a good idea of where this team is at in the first week when they travel to Cal. The Big Ten schedule starts easily enough with Indiana, Iowa, and Northwestern, but four of the next five are against the top of the conference. With no match-up against Illinois and an easy run of games after Cal, the Spartans should be bowl-bound this season, but they'll be disappointed with anything short of a New Year's Day appearance.


      **This was written by StevieY19, I am just posting it for him because he's on vacation.

      Ryan Theriot Is Fast, But What's The Deal With All The Baserunning Gaffes?


      Everyone who reads this site knows that I love Ryan Theriot. The guy wants to punch DeRosa in the face, thinks he could kick Fontenot's ass and has 9 pitches in his arsenal. The only problem is that sometimes I want to punch HIM in the face. After Theriot was thrown out at third on Sunday night, I decided to do a little "research". By research I mean I googled "Ryan Theriot Caught Stealing". Well I found something. It is an extensive list of not only caught stealing, but other baserunning gaffes of his this year. Turns out over at Wrigleyville23.com they have come up with a stat for Theriot being an idiot on the bases. They call it TOOTBLAN. TOOTBLAN stands for Thrown Out On The Basepaths Like A Nincompoop. They actually list every single one of Theriot's TOOTBLANs this season. While I must admit the name is a little lame sounding, I do like the theory behind it. I am so sick of his TOOTBLANS. Theriot continues to try to stretch things out on the bases and continues to cost his team outs. Yes his OBP is near .400, but in terms of the runs he's creating, he has 19 TOOTBLANs! 19! That means for every 11 times he gets on base, he has roughly 1 TOOTBLAN. Unacceptable.

      **Feel free to check my math on the ratio, but I believe that's roughly correct.

      Today's Links

    • Someone at Bleed Cubbie Blue has compiled a list of all the things the Cubs are great at this year. Take a look. They are pretty freakin' sweet.
    • Roundup of the Sox weekend. Good series.
    • Thoughts on the Ben Gordon situation. Interesting comparisons to Eddy Curry and Jamal Crawford.
    • Apparently people are starting to call for Caleb Hanie to be given a shot at QB for the Bears. And I'm not just talking about annoying sports writers like Rick Morrisey. Some fans seem to think it might not be such a bad idea.
    • Dong Dong is taking the trampoline by storm. Yeah, thats his name. You know the guys over at Luols Dong are loving it.
    • 11 athletic performances that rival Michael Phelps 8 Golds.
    • White Sox are all alone in first. Big win last night. Paulie is hitting .302/.467/.558 (BA/OBP/SLG) in August. That is going to be a major factor going forward.
    • The Worst Sports Times of the Year

      For the past month or so I have been thankful for a couple things in my life as a sports fan. The first is that it is an Olympic year. The Olympics are amazing and this year with Phelps and the USA Basketball team have made them an event that has not disappointed. The second thing is that Chicago baseball has been hot this year. There have been way too many years where at this point in the calender the season was pretty much over. If it wasn't for those two main things(and WNBA, ouch) this can be a really difficult time of the year as a sports fan. I mean, look at how much coverage that garbage-ass Brett Favre story got. Sometimes there is just less going on.

      In honor of my appreciation here we go with my top 3 worst times of year for sports fans:

      #3: Pretty Much All of July . This time of year is pretty brutal and everyone knows why. All you got is baseball(and WNBA, ergh.) At the beginning of the baseball season everyone has hope and it so exciting to see all the new parts of your team and blah blah blah. Around July that freshness wears off. A whole mess of guys get hurt and bunch of teams realize they just don't have a shot. There is a reason they call these the dog days of summer. Not to mention the fact that the day after the All-Star game is horrendous, because you have absolutely nothing.

      #2: The Two Weeks Between the NFL Conference Championship Game and the Super Bowl. This is the time of the year when the NBA and College Basketball are not that great compared to the NFL playoffs. Also during this time of year you get to the point where there is only one game left before there is no more football for like 7 months and that one game is most likely going to be between two teams you don't really care about. Oh and if you weren't interested in those two teams? Well you are going to hear every possible story line about them, from the ingredients to Gilbert Brown's FatBurger to Matt Cassel's life staring at Tom Brady's girlfriend's ass. Better hope you win some money on the big game.

      That last note leads me to number one........

      #1: The DayAfter Your Sports Betting Account has hit Zero/The Day You Get Eliminated From Your Fantasy League. For a sports fan it doesn't get much worse than this. We all know it hurts when your team gets eliminated, but there is something about losing sports bets/fantasy that takes that pain to a different level. First off the fact that you have lost money sucks infinite amounts. Not to mention your loss of reputation and pride as a sports fan that comes as a result of your actions. When it comes down to it you don't have control over whether or not Ben Gordon takes a 30-foot fadeaway at the buzzer or Octavio Dotel gives up back-to-back jacks in the 8th. However with sports bets/fantasy, there is no one to blame but yourself. Whether or not things went the way they should have that comes back to the decisions you made as a "sports expert." You try and watch games on this day and it just isn't the same. You try to talk to your friends about the games and they keep referencing how many TD's someone had for them or the fact that the Suns have hit the over in seven straight games.

      Well I guess you can always re-up your account or start researching the draft-kit for the sport that is right around the corner.

      Any other suggestions are welcome.....
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